Discretizing continuous attributes in AdaBoost for text categorization

  • Nardiello P
  • Sebastiani F
  • Sperduti A
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We focus on two recently proposed algorithms in the family of “boosting”-based learners for automated text classification, AdaBoost.MH and AdaBoost.MHKR. While the former is a realization of the well-known AdaBoost algorithm specifically aimed at multi-label text categorization, the latter is a generalization of the former based on the idea of learning a committee of classifier sub-committees. Both algorithms have been among the best performers in text categorization experiments so far. A problem in the use of both algorithms is that they require documents to be represented by binary vectors, indicating presence or absence of the terms in the document. As a consequence, these algorithms cannot take full advantage of the “weighted” representations (consisting of vectors of continuous attributes) that are customary in information retrieval tasks, and that provide a much more significant rendition of the document’s content than binary representations. In this paper we address the problem of exploiting the potential of weighted representations in the context of AdaBoost-like algorithms by discretizing the continuous attributes through the application of entropybased discretization methods. We present experimental results on the Reuters-21578 text categorization collection, showing that for both algorithms the version with discretized continuous attributes outperforms the version with traditional binary representations.

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  • Pio Nardiello

  • Fabrizio Sebastiani

  • Alessandro Sperduti

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